COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented impact on businesses in India. A large number of business are not allowed to operate because of a countrywide lockdown in order to cope with the CoronaVirus, as only essential businesses are allowed to be operational. In the face of COVID-19, businesses are scaling back operations and pivoting to essentials in an attempt to keep the engine running. While these measures are absolutely necessary, they severely impact small and independent businesses around the world.
That’s why the recent response from the Shopify India Partner community is a bright spot in an otherwise challenging time.
Over the past few days, we’ve seen dozens of Shopify Partners lend a (virtual) hand to not only their clients and users, but to any merchant, business owner, and partner who is in need of some help.
In fact, there are so many examples of partners offering help to their wider communities, both online and in real life, that we've been adding examples to this article up until the very last minute.
Shopify Partners supporting the ecosystem
It is heartwarming to see how Shopify India Partners have offered, without hesitation, help to entrepreneurs across businesses in so many different ways. Below, we look at some examples of how partners are pivoting to respond to our current times.
1. Building an online store for essentials
A large number of offline grocery and other essential supply stores are looking to go online. India is a country where merchants need a lot more support to go online, and GypsyPhi is offering exactly that.
GypsyPhi built and made public the template of an online grocery store that could easily be replicated. A number of stores have gone live using this template. There are also other partners who are offering to build essential stores using this template for a nominal fee. Do read about how you can build an online essentials store, and the list of partners who are helping with this.
2. Extended App Trials and Offers
It takes time for merchants to understand which apps are best suited for their online store, even more so at a time like this. In order to make this easier, a number of Shopify Partners in India are offering extended App trials, that allow merchants ample time to evaluate which apps work best for them.
Experts Village Media is offering a number of apps for an extended trial period of 60 days, which are listed here. SoftPulse Infotech are offering an extended trial period of 30 days on their WhatsApp Chat and Cart recovery Apps. They are also offering USD 6.99 worth of free credit on their COD Order Confirmation App in India. The Notifier - Smart Web Push App is free for the first 1000 impressions, after which it comes with a monthly cost of USD 8.99 per month, reduced from what was originally USD 15 per month. Aitrillion, another Shopify Expert, are also offering extended trials on their app. They have also set up an Emergency Fund for Shopify merchants, which would be used to support the app fees for their merchants during this tough period.
3. Store Development
In India, given the Do-It-For-Me mindset being more prevalent, merchants seek partners' help rather actively in store development.
Binary Ecommerce Experts, Marmeto, Silver Clouding, Ced Commerce and MS Web Designer are all offering a basic online store set-up for free. Seller Drive is offering a 50% discount on their store development packages. These efforts to go a long way in making it easier for merchants to start online businesses under the circumstances.
Returns on Marketing Investment are something that merchants always keep a close watch on, and it becomes all the more important during a crisis. During a tough period, marketing could be a double edged sword, where on one hand you could be spending more money than you need to be out of caution, or on the other, not spending adequately enough to be impacting conversions. In order to help merchants with marketing during this time, Seventh Triangle Consulting are offering SEO and Content Audits, Online Transformation Consultation, Social Media and Communication Consultation, and Competitive Analysis Consultation for free.
Apart from the list of Indian Shopify Partners stated above, which is by no means exhaustive, there are a large number Shopify Partners across the world offering services pertinent to COVID-19, which you can look up here.
At this time, we are collating a number of other resources that are relevant to online businesses and e-commerces in India, such as
- Cash Flow Management During a Crisis
- Short Term Revenue Strategies for Small Businesses
- Tips for Ecommerce Businesses to Manage Finances During COVID
- Transitioning an Offline Store Online
Shopify Meetups have transitioned into digital meetups, with partner hosts developing programming that will enable both merchants and fellow partners to connect online (if you’re interested in getting involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org). The landing page for meetups has also been converted into a digital library of live sessions from around the world—be sure to check them out.
We’re committed to providing more partner programming in the coming weeks that allows the community to connect and learn from one another—stay tuned.
As we all work together to pivot and help support our merchants through this difficult time, we’re also supporting each other and the wider Shopify ecosystem. Take care of each other.